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RandiLynnMrvos

Thursday, October 18, 2018


Marvelous musings and the mind-boggling journey of marketing a book

Losing and Winning 

I was totally bummed out and feeling low.  I was losing money on book sales.  

How does an author LOSE money instead of make money selling her book?  For me, the answer was giveaways.  

Professor, columnist, author Jane Friedman says, "Giveaways (or freebies) are popular for good reason; they’re a classic, frictionless way to make people aware of your work."  She also states, "The giveaway is one of the more powerful tools in the new author’s arsenal because it’s a way to get attention when you may not have anything else going for you."

Giveaways however, did not work for me.  I gave away copies of Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show-and-Tell as a contest prize and as a gift in a silent action.  I also gave free copies of my books to catalog companies, school book fairs, and other businesses in order to create attention and drive book sales.  And this starting adding up.

I decided to give up this practice.  No more giveaways.  I was stick-a-fork-in-me done with losing money.

And then an opportunity arose to have my book considered for the Kentucky Book Festival (which meant relinquishing another book.)

The Kentucky Book Festival is a week-long celebration honoring reading and writing in Kentucky.  Now in its second year in Lexington (my hometown), the 37th annual Kentucky Book Fair is the grand finale of the week.  This festivity attracts writers of all genres and patrons who share a passion and interest in writing and reading.  More than 140 authors will attend the Kentucky Book Fair to promote and support literacy, including Silas House (Clay's Quilt), Bobbie Ann Mason  (In Country), and Wendell Berry (Jayber Crow).

After giving away close to 20 books (well over $200), I was ambivalent about having my book evaluated.  This did not guarantee an invitation.  But, I felt it was important to send my book to the committee.  This could be an awesome opportunity to introduce readers to Maggie and her rescue dog.

During the waiting period, I grew doubtful of hearing good news and thought more and more about the difficulties of being a published writer.  Being published is supposed to be totally joyful, but for me, there were times when it was not always a bed of roses.  The more I considered the struggles, the sadder I got knowing:

  • Book expenses exceeded revenue
  • Page views on my blogs were not as high as I'd like
  • Responses from agents for new picture book submissions had been nonexistent

Don't misunderstand.  In spite of these disappointments, I feel lucky and blessed to have the opportunity to write.  Writing is still one of my biggest joys in life.  But it's hard to hold on to the good feelings all of the time.  Especially when I had just given away another book.  I had lost more money.  What were the chances that this "investment" was going to pan out?

Doubt and worry seeped in and gnawed at me.  Feeling discouraged, I released a question into the universe:  Is writing still the correct career choice or is it time to move on?

Silly as it may seem, I asked for a sign—something, anything that might give me an idea if I should continue being a writer.  And then I went back to writing.  In only a few hours, this email appeared in my inbox:


"Dear Randi,

On behalf of the Kentucky Book Festival Committee of Kentucky Humanities, it is my pleasure to invite you to participate in the  annual Kentucky Book Festival (KBF), presented by Kentucky Humanities and our sponsors." 

I was floored.  This was unbelievable good news.  And the timing!  The timing couldn't have been more perfect.

This situation got me thinking about how we should turn to the universe more often if we have questions or if we are troubled.

"When you need to know, you will. There will be no confusion or doubt about what is being said. Seek out this kind of relationship with the universe and it will most certainly support it. Don’t allow yourself to get part of the message and end up more lost. Trust in the source, within and outside of yourself. Signs are not meant to be ambiguous, even if they appear to be so at first. Seek and find, then receive fully, in order to find your truth." ~ The Chopra Center.

And so my decision is clear.  Moving on to a different career is not part of the plan.  Despite the doubts and disappointments, despite feeling low about marketing a book, and despite losing money, I was shown that my footsteps should follow the writer's path.


Kentucky Book Festival
at the Alltech Arena at
the Kentucky Horse Park
Saturday, Nov 17, 2018
from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

✌ and 

Comments: 
"Great Stuff. Congratulations!"  M. Cook
"Congrats, Randi!"  C. Phelps
"Congratulations on the Kentucky Book Festival" A. Miller Hudson

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